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Compare rates for Maryland for electricity

The Old Line State offers residents and businesses a deregulated market and opportunities to save.

Residents of Maryland have had their choice of retail energy provider since 1999. Browse rates from more than 200 electricity suppliers in the Old Line State — each competing to offer the lowest kilowatt-hour rate and a variety of plans to best suit your energy needs.

Best energy prices in Maryland

See the lowest rates available today for your location on the deregulated energy market.

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Key players in Maryland’s energy market

Several commissions and agencies oversee the regulation of utility companies and the distribution of energy in the Old Line State.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent agency that regulates the transmission of electricity, natural gas and oil across the state.

FERC also:

  • Licenses and inspects hydroelectric projects
  • Oversees environmental matters
  • Administers accounting and financial reporting regulations

PJM Interconnection

PJM Interconnection is a regional transmission organization — commonly called an RTO — that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity across the mid-Atlantic, including Maryland. It manages the high-voltage electricity grid and operates a wholesale electricity market.

PJM also engages in long-term planning to provide the most cost-efficient improvements to the power grid to stabilize and possibly increase reliability and economic benefits.

Maryland Public Service Commission (MD PSC)

The Maryland Public Service Commission is a state agency that regulates residential utility companies across the state.

In addition to setting rates, it also:

  • Collects and maintains records and reports of public service companies
  • Reviews plans for service
  • Inspects equipment
  • Audits financial records
  • Handles consumer complaints
  • Communicates and enforces rules and regulations
  • intervenes in relevant cases before federal regulatory commissions and federal courts

Utility companies in Maryland

Energy customers in Maryland can purchase electricity from a deregulated retail supplier or a regulated electric utility company.

Regulated utility companies in the state include:

  • A&N Electric Cooperative
  • Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BG&E)
  • Town of Berlin Electric
  • Choptank Electric Cooperative
  • Delmarva Power & Light
  • Easton Utilities
  • City of Hagerstown Light Department
  • Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco)
  • The Potomac Edison Company
  • Somerset Rural Electric Cooperative
  • Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO)
  • Thurmont Municipal Light Company

Energy services companies (ESCOs)

ESCOs are retail energy suppliers licensed by the Maryland Public Service Commission — or PSC. They set the rate and contract terms of energy supply for homes and businesses across the state.

Electric cooperatives

Maryland is home to two electric cooperatives that lobby for the interests of co-ops and manages utility supplies and services:

  • Choptank Electric Cooperative. Established in 1938, Choptank Electric is a member-owned nonprofit cooperative that serves some 55,000 customers in nine county’s on the state’s Eastern Shore.
  • Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative. Established in 1937, the SMECO is a customer-owned cooperative that provides electricity to more than 160,000 residential customers in southern Maryland, including Prince George’s County.

How to find the cheapest energy rate in Maryland

You need to first calculate your current average electricity use. Then you can find the lowest electricity in Maryland by comparing retail electric providers and energy plans for the best fit to power your home or business.

  1. Calculate your current energy use. Look at a few of your most recent energy bills and average out your use by energy unit — per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity. This information will help you pinpoint similar or cheaper rates on the market.
  2. Shop by ZIP code on an energy marketplace. Marketplaces like EnergyBot can help you compare rates and energy plans specific to your residence with your ZIP code and information about your home.[EB widget] 
  3. Compare energy providers and plans. Weigh kWh rates, contract terms and potential for savings to narrow down the best provider for your needs.

What is Maryland Electric Choice?

MD Electric Choice is the state-operated energy shopping website managed by the Maryland Public Service Commission. You can compare energy plans, learn more about the state’s deregulated market and file disputes with utilities or retail electricity suppliers.

How to compare electricity plans

You have many third-party electricity suppliers to choose from in Maryland, each offering different rates and energy plans. Factors to weigh when researching your options come down to rates and the type of plan that fits your electricity needs and budget.

Fixed and variable rates

Providers in Maryland offer the choice of fixed or variable kilowatt-hour rates:

  • Fixed rates. Fixed rates allow you to lock in a rate for an established contract term. These plans protect your budget from surprise rate spikes, though they can keep you from more easily switching providers with lower rates if the market dips.
  • Variable rates. Variable rates allow you to purchase energy without a contract. These plans give you the flexibility to jump to a different provider at any point, though you can expect to pay increased rates when demand is high, such as during colder weather months.

For variable rates, ask your potential provider if it limits how much rates can fluctuate, which can help you keep costs manageable.

Introductory rates and signup bonuses

Many suppliers and providers offer lower advertised rates or bonuses to entice new customers. These bonuses can be reflected as a lump-sum savings or percentage knocked off the standard rate.

Introductory rates can last the first quarter of your contract, for six months or even the full term. Read the fine print of any offer to understand the rate you’ll pay after the bonus and avoid overpaying for your energy in the long term.

Contract terms and details

Understand the contract system of any supplier you’re interested in. Look at available terms, how the supplier handles renewals and whether you can cancel before your contract ends.

  • Contract terms. Contracts can range from three months to a year or more. Longer terms can be easier to manage, while shorter terms allow the flexibility to leverage market dips.
  • Contract renewal. Some providers require you to renew a contract term, allowing you to review or change the details of your rate schedule, while others automatically renew your terms unless you tell them not to.
  • Contract cancellation. Markets being what they are, you may find lower rates so enticing, you’re willing to pay a termination fee to end your contract early. Understand the penalties you face so that you can factor them into any future decisions to switch providers.
  • Late fees and grace periods. Ask potential providers about late fees and how many days after the due date you can make a payment without paying a penalty.

Costs and fees to expect in Maryland

Your electricity bills include home energy costs that can vary by utility provider or supplier.

  • Unit or consumption charges. Energy costs are expressed as kilowatt-hours (kWh) for electricity and therms for natural gas, with variances among residential, commercial and industrial customers.
  • Delivery and transmission costs. This is the cost a utility company charges to cover moving energy from power plants, across power lines and pipelines and to your meter.
  • Capacity or demand fee. Some electric companies charge a fee to cover the cost of ensuring enough electricity or gas when demand peaks.
  • Ratchet charges. Also related to demand, these are periodic fees charged by utilities to recoup costs related to surges in use.
  • Taxes. Most suppliers include tax costs in pricing schedules. Ask your supplier about taxes if you don’t see them clearly listed in your bill.
  • Other costs and fees. Some states and local governments charge fees that fund public policy programs related to such causes as energy conservation or support for vulnerable communities.

If you choose an alternative energy option, your energy bill may include fees associated with the renewables you choose.

How to switch electricity plans in Maryland

Once you’ve found a supplier that suits your energy needs, gather up a current monthly bill and get ready for the big switch.

  • Call your new energy supplier. Confirm the details of your energy plan and ask any remaining questions. You may need to provide information from your current utility provider to transfer your account. Ask how long you can expect to wait until it’s completed.
  • Contact your old provider. Your new supplier will notify your old supplier, but it’s helpful to confirm the process directly with your current company.
  • Review your first bill. Make sure the details of your new bill match your contract or agreement, and flag any issues as soon as possible for a fix.

You may not pay a fee to switch from a utility company to a retail provider, though most retail providers require you to enter into a contract.

You may pay a fee to terminate your contract and switch to a different retail provider. Contact your current retailer and ask about any expected fees or charges before you make the change.

About energy deregulation in Maryland

The Maryland General Assembly approved the Electric Customer Choice and Competition Act In 1999, opening up the market to consumer choice. After the act passed, customers could choose to remain with their utility company or purchase electricity through an electric retail supplier.

According to the Maryland Public Service Commission, the state believed energy deregulation would “put downward pressure on costs, thus providing consumers with the lowest possible prices for electricity, to allow all customers to choose their power supplier, to provide incentives for the creation and development of innovative products and services.”

As of September 2022, the average Maryland commercial electricity rate is 1% lower than the national average, and the average Maryland residential electricity rate is 4% lower.

What to look out for

Deregulated energy doesn’t always mean lower costs for all. In an analysis of Energy Information Agency data, the Wall Street Journal calculated that consumers in Maryland paid $399 million more for retail electricity from 2015 through 2019 than if they’d gone through a utility company.

Some energy retailers offer a teaser rate to incentivize consumers to make the switch, only to later change the rates and charge more than utility companies. Before signing a contract, confirm with your energy supplier if the rate is subject to change, how long the rate will last and any additional fees to expect.

State energy assistance

Maryland offers several assistance programs for those struggling to pay their energy bills, including the Maryland Energy Assistance Program, the Electric Universal Service Program and Arrearage Retirement Assistance. Reach out to the Department of Human Services to see if you qualify.

Written by

Holly Jennings

Holly Jennings is an editor and updates writer at Finder, working with writers across all niches to deliver quality content to readers. She’s edited hundreds of financial articles ranging from credit cards to investments. With empathy at heart, she especially enjoys content that breaks down complex financial situations into easy-to-understand information. Prior to her role at Finder, she collaborated with dozens of small businesses to maximize the reach and impact of their blog posts, website copy and other content. In her spare time, she is an award-winning author for Penguin Random House, writing about virtual reality worlds, magical girls and lasers that go pew-pew. See full profile

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